Sudan’s former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies from Covid-19 in UAE
Leading Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi died from a coronavirus infection three weeks after being hospitalised in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.
Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power.
The moderate Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir, and Mahdi remained an influential figure even after Bashir was toppled in 1989.
Last month, al-Mahdi’s family said he had tested positive for Covid-19, and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalisation in Sudan.
In a statement, the Umma Party said Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.
Mahdi had returned to Sudan in December 2018, following a year-long self-exile, just as protests over worsening economic conditions and Bashir’s rule gathered steam. His daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, deputy leader of the Umma Party, was among those detained during the demonstrations.
While a successor to the party head has not yet been announced, she has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.
Opposition parties were weakened greatly under Bashir’s three-decade regime, and are jostling for power with the military during Sudan’s transition, making the Umma Party’s continued unity crucial to maintaining the balance of power.
After the military forced Bashir out from power, Mahdi pushed for a transfer to civilian rule, warning in interviews with Reuters of the risks of a counter-coup and calling for the powerful, paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to be integrated.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Hesham Abdul Khalek, writing by Aidan Lewis, Mahmoud Mourad, and Nafisa Eltahir,; Editing by Kim Coghill and Grant McCool)
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- UK is the first country in Europe where more than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus.
- Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration.
- The first crew will spend eight days at the space station, and will take one or two days to get there aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule following liftoff from Cape Canaveral. Each of these first paying customers intends to perform science research in orbit.
- The Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that screeners found 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags in 2020, or about 10 for every million travelers. About 83% of the guns were loaded.
- The Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, which kicks off Tuesday, said it’s building a list of former officials and aides who were involved in what the group says were the Trump administration’s most controversial actions.